Grown to Run: Minnesota

Exploring novel approaches to deliver food, fiber and fuel

Garden Fresh Farms and the Future of Agriculture

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Comment by Patrick Ewing on May 17, 2013 at 9:20am

Garden Fresh really highlights the different production goals of commodity agriculture - corn/beans - and direct consumption agriculture - vegetables.  Notably, stressed plants that grown in barrels and confused by the spinning taste better, stems and all.  Plant stress is exactly what Big Ag tries to avoid...

But also so many similarities - nutrient use efficiency, space maximization, etc.  This idea of maximizing light capture at garden fresh farms is something I would like to see in agricultural fields, too, with many of the methods that Nick Jordan presents in Video 2.  Look at a freshly-planted field now and see all that sunlight hitting dirt. That sunlight is energy that could go into food!

Comment by Bryan Runck on May 17, 2013 at 11:30am

Interesting thoughts Patrick. I agree with you that system efficiency is a concern of everyone in agriculture, and that begins with maximizing light capture. Audrey and Richard of Moonstone spoke about this too, and said maximizing light capture was one of the reasons they went to a perennial pasture based system.

Comment by Patrick Ewing on May 17, 2013 at 12:02pm

Agreed.  The contrast of green and brown in the video clip showing their pastures and high-value perennial crops next to the neighbor's corn field (1:54) is striking.

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